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Prosecutor defends plan to release Darren Sharper in nine years


Former NFL player Darren Sharper is expected to be released from prison in nine years as a result of his plea deal on charges of raping nine women. One of the prosecutors who agreed to that deal says that’s appropriate.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, who agreed to the plea deal rather than prosecuting Sharper and winning a conviction that could have carried a life sentence, noted that Sharper has already served a year in jail and will serve nine more.

“I certainly don’t think serving 10 years in jail is a slap on the wrist,” Cannizzaro told the Times-Picayune. “I think that’s a significant sentence.”

Ten years in jail may not be a slap on the wrist, but it’s not a particularly harsh sentence given the gravity of the charges against Sharper. He is accused of being a serial rapist who repeatedly drugged and attacked women, in four different states.

Sharper is apparently getting some credit because he has agreed to testify against two other men who are also accused of rape, and Cannizzaro says the sentence facing Sharper is enough.

“There is a significant period that is hanging over his head,” Cannizzaro said. “Essentially, he will be on probation for the rest of his life. He will be required to stay in Arizona for the larger portion of his life. So, from the perspective of the sentence, I do believe this is, to some extent, an onerous sentence on Mr. Sharper.”

Cannizzaro may think so, but that’s hard for the rest of us to accept. This deal means a serial rapist will be walking the streets again in 2024.